After 43 years, Ron?s taking a holiday
By Julia Iles
No wonder Ron's an Armstrong ? for 43 years he's hurled 500 newspapers almost daily into front yards.
And at 76 years of age, he can still make a man weep in an arm wrestle.
Ron has developed and mastered a right-hand throwing technique which uses the strength of the whole arm, not just the forearm.
But Ron retired a week ago from his paper round and his wife Valerie, has never been happier.
"It means after 43 years we can finally go on a holiday," she said.
When Ron started his working life he earned two shillings a week, and the cost of a newspaper was six pence.
His first round was in Wahroonga, on Sydney's north shore where he delivered newspapers to the elite, including High Court judges, the attorney general and media personality Mike Willesee.
In 1972 he stuck Gough Whitlam posters all over his delivery van, which did not go over well in the traditional Coalition stronghold.
"I certainly got some strong responses, so the next day I stuck more of the posters up," Ron said.
Twenty-nine years later he moved to Grafton, and within a week had secured a paper round with Madden's newsagent (formerly Carroll's), after scanning The Daily Examiner's employment section.
"I was supposed to retire but just needed something to keep the brain ticking," he said.
For 14 years Ron rose at 4am to deliver papers around Grafton and found the best part of his job was talking with friendly early risers.
Being an avid newspa- per reader as well, Ron has observed many changes over the years.
He's seen prices rise, broadsheets modified, and the introduction of a cellophane covering.